Apple TV Worldwide Discussion
There have been many reviews of the new Apple TV since its presentation in September. Opinions and ratings vary. Many techies criticise it for being rushed into the market, claiming that the UI is not very compelling, the on-screen keyboard is not convenient to use and content is limited. In contrast, Apple fans point out the benefits of slick and responsive remote, Siri function, and access to the power of App Store.
Where to start with Apple TV
We can’t but agree with both groups in these remarks but we also believe that most importantly Apple TV has huge potential for development. Whether you are considering to bring your web or iPhone app to Apple TV or you want a custom ATV app, you need to study this unexplored and rising market niche. So let’s start with the basics and then move on to the most promising segments and even some ideas for new products.
Pros and Cons
What do people expect from a streaming device? Obviously, they want to have all their apps in one place and it should all be easy and fast to search. Apple TV is, first of all, good for those who own other Apple devices, which is a benefit and a drawback at the same time. If you have an iPhone, Mac or iPad, you may simply use AirPlay to stream any unavailable stuff directly from your Apple products. On the other hand, Apple TV app store doesn’t really meet users’ expectations as it definitely needs to be better organized. The biggest pain, though, is the price, as its main competitors are cheaper. Another common complaint among Apple TV owners is the onscreen keyboard which is highly inconvenient to use and Siri won’t search for apps in the app store.
Apple TV and its Competitors
When comparing the new Apple TV with its main competitors on the streaming media market, namely Roku4, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield and Chromecast, Apple product definitely feels better. Although it’s more expensive, the UX and especially Siri remote make up for the extra money you have to pay. Yet Apple will have to catch up with the competitors in terms of 4K support, searching for apps by voice, adding ratings to more apps and broader apps selection overall. Apple pins much hope on games category and believes the Apple TV could account for upwards of 3.3% of Apple’s estimated earnings in 2016. So the success highly depends on developers and how they will exploit the games and other promising niches.
Apple TV Potential
It goes without saying that the potential of Apple TV is huge thanks to its dedicated development community. And after Apple introduced the new operating system called tvOS, iOS developers got a new platform for writing apps. At the same time, tvOS is the first generation product, which means it will undergo a lot of changes in the future. Everyone realizes that the future of Apple TV greatly depends on how the developers will use the big screen and the Siri remote. Users definitely want to see bright and visually rich apps in their living room. It’s like the situation with the screensavers on the new Apple TV, seems like a small thing, but everyone is talking about how beautiful they are. Now there are quite big gaps in terms of app quality. Some of them look rather strange on the big screen, like gigantic iPhone apps, others look attractive when adapted to television.
What about Fitness?
Another category besides Games which attracts a lot of attention is Fitness. There are already some successful pioneers in this niche, like Zova fitness, but we believe, more can be done here. Just imagine an interactive training app, where you can choose the course, adapt it to your personal needs in mind with your health characteristics taken from your health apps. It could even point to the mistakes you make when exercising using your parameters data.
Gaming on Apple TV
Having simple time-waster games on your TV is great, but what users would really appreciate on their big screens is the games with impressive graphics, killer soundtracks and, of course, they want to have more games designed for multiple players. Can Apple TV replace or compete with PS or XBox? For now, the answer is a definite “No.” Can developers exploit the Siri remote to make the experience as close to that of the gaming console as possible? Well, Siri is no Move, but it’s full of surprises, and the developers are already working on unveiling them.
Although there are now only 1,002 games on Apple TV app store, there are already the golden standard games, like a beautifully designed Alto’s Adventure, futuristic Battle Supremacy Evolution or Cueist, a well-adapted for the remote pool and snooker game . You might also find handy Scoreboard app, which keeps track of players scores and displays them on the screen. Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions Evolved stands out by its nice 3D vector graphics and an impressive electronica soundtrack. Another benefit is that you may use iPhone or iPad as a controller for 2 player games.
Developing Apple TV App
It certainly depends on the type of app you want but our iOS specialists point out that developing for Apple TV is not that much different from developing and app for iPhone. In terms of code, you will have to spend as much time and money, since anyone who’s writing on iOS platform can easily develop on the new tvOS. The bigger challenge is to validate your idea with paid traffic, meet the needs of users with your app and do it fast while there is still enough space on this market. So if you think this is where you want to be, get in touch with our iOS team and find out more about how much time and money it may take to put your idea into action.